Shine Theory Helps Women Overcome Competition With Friendship
It's not difficult to hate someone who seems to have it all. This tendency is especially relatable for many women, who are in the unfortunate position of having to prove themselves in too many male-dominated fields. Looking at the impressive success, career, fame, power, or accomplishment of another woman often sparks jealousy and resentment. But why? There are only so many women in powerful positions in the world, which can make it feel as if there's less room for the women still trying to get there. Journalists Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow coined the concept of shine theory as a solution to this competition.
Shine theory is the idea that a woman should support and celebrate the successes of other women instead of trying to tear them down. This is how Friedman described the solution: "When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn't make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better." Friedman explains that choosing friendship over competition will be in any woman's best interest. "First, there's the associative property of awesomeness: People know you by the company you keep," Friedman wrote in her 2013 New York Magazine article on the subject. "Also, it's just plain tough out there ... I want the strongest, happiest, smartest women in my corner, pushing me to negotiate for more money, telling me to drop men who make me feel bad about myself, and responding to my outfit selfies from a place of love and stylishness, not competition and body-snarking." Find out more about "girl hate" and shine theory in the video below.